Posted by Tom Fornelli
Hell hath no fury like a booster scorned.
Robert Burton donated $3 million to UConn to fund The Burton Family Football Complex in Storrs. Burton is a printing industry executive who has lived in Greenwich for over 30 years, and has donated over $7 million to the football program in that time. Well, now he wants that $3 million for the football complex back, and he'd like his name taken off of it as well. It seems that Mr. Burton is pretty upset with UConn AD Jeff Hathaway not seeking his input when it came to hiring Paul Pasqualoni to replace Randy Edsall.
"The primary reason (former coach) Randy (Edsall) took another job is because he couldn't work with you," Burton wrote in a six-page letter to Hathaway. "You are not qualified to be a Division I AD and I would have fired you a long time ago. You do not have the skills to manage and cultivate new donors."
According to the letter, Burton asked Hathaway to keep him "in the loop" on the coaching search, asking him to do this on January 3. Burton says he never heard from Hathaway again until January 19 when Pasqualoni had already been hired. Burton also said in the letter that he wasn't looking for any kind of "veto power" but the fact that Burton wasn't consulted shows him that Hathaway doesn't respect his "point of view or value my opinion."
Which seems like a pretty big mistake on Hathaway's part, because according to the letter, the $3 million refund isn't the only thing Burton is going to do. He also said he won't be paying for his family's $50,000-a-year luxury suite at Rentschler Field. Burton even said "You already have many other empty boxes at Rentschler. My box will just join the list."
Burton didn't stop there, either. He no longer plans on purchasing an $8,000 ad inside the football program, he's moving all the money he donated for football scholarships to the business school, and Burton will stop an annual $20,000 donation for the school's summer coaching clinic. Oh, and speaking of the UConn business school, any time Burton's business needs to train any of its managers, it'll no longer be sending them to UConn's business school. It'll send them to Syracuse instead.